Sunday, 27 August 2017

Birmingham Hippodrome- Miss Saigon Menu

I'd heard whispers of the Circle Restaurant at The Hippodrome. I'd heard that it was a hidden gem, that the food was better than you'd expect from a theatre restaurant, that they have themed menus for certain shows and that you can have your pudding back at your table during the interval.

I went along with a load of the Brum Bloggers last week to find out the truth behind these rumours.

I was at Birmingham Hippodrome to see Miss Saigon; a musical I had little knowledge of. If you'd asked me I would have said, "it's set in Vietnam or something and something to do with war". Brilliant Geographical knowledge Helen. 

I met my fellow bloggers in the Thorp Street reception area, which is where you'll find the Hippodrome's conference and private dining facilities. Yes, if it's a special occasion and you're feeling flush, you can eat your pre-theatre dinner with a select group of friends and family. 

We tried a few of their canapes (available if you pick a VIP package), had a glass of orange juice and Archers and flicked through our programmes. I discovered that the show was set in the Vietnam war, was a love story and would make me cry. In fact, it's based on Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly. So far so good.

We headed up to the Circle Restaurant, situated on the second floor, lit by the light coming through the huge floor to ceiling window. It's open to everyone, not just theatre goers, but if you do have a ticket, believe me, it's going to make your night extra-special.

Open two hours before each performance, the Circle Restaurant has a menu that changes seasonally. They also put on a themed menu for certain long-running shows. A themed menu could seem a little cheesy but I can promise this one is not.

We had a sample of each of the starters: White Bean Soup, Goats Cheese Mousse, Salt Beef Croquette and Vietnamese Prawn Summer Roll. Certainly there are nods to Vietnamese cuisine but they have sensibly kept some classic dishes in there to please all tastes.

Everything was fresh, seasonal and tasty. My personal favourite was the summer roll, filled with crunchy veg and prawns.

Again, we tried a small portion of each main, which had nods to Vietnamese cuisine such as bok choy, sesame and soy flavours and rice noodles. We tried Chilli and Coriander crusted pork tenderloin, Fillet of Coley with rice noodles, samphire and ginger broth, Honey-brushed confit of duck leg with celeriac puree and bok choy and Yellow curry lentil scotch egg.

The meats and vegetables were all well cooked and seasoned and complimented by the Vietnamese sauces and dressings.

My favourite was the vegetarian scotch egg. Instead of minced meat, curried lentils had cleverly been used to cover the egg and it was incredibly delicious. I certainly didn't notice the lack of meat as the lentils had great texture and a delicious flavour.

First two courses complete, it was time to pour our wine into plastic cups and head to our seats. The show was absolutely beautiful. I don't want to give too much of the story away as I really enjoyed going in completely new to the story. The singing was incredible, the acting was moving and I was crying within the first song.

We all sniffed our way to one of the private dining rooms, where we found our wine and dessert all ready for us. This is available to everyone who dines at the Circle Restaurant; it wasn't a special bloggers thing!

For the dessert, we once again had a sample of each of the desserts (l-r): Bitter chocolate tart, Green tea panna cotta and Poached peach and pistachio cake. The chocolate tart was excellent; not too sweet. The panna cotta was my favourite, I particularly enjoyed the sesame tuille which added a delicious savoury note.

After dessert it was a quick dash back to our seats to watch the second half. A beautiful show, inventive and tasty food (well priced too at two courses for £24.95 or three for £29.50). I'd highly recommend treating yourself to a meal at the Circle Restaurant before a show. What a treat!

Photos by Helen.

Food and drink were complimentary for review purposes. 

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